CNN continues to ignore or downplay news that is harmful to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., whose younger brother anchors the network’s most popular show, failing to mention a new report linking a controversial decision by Gov. Cuomo to thousands of deaths inside his state’s nursing homes.
The Associated Press reported late Monday that “New York hospitals released more than 6,300 recovering coronavirus patients into nursing homes during the height” of the coronavirus pandemic under a “controversial, now-scrapped policy.”
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The AP reported that Cuomo and other state officials argued the decision was “was not to blame for one of the nation's highest nursing home death tolls,” noting the governor has “taken intense criticism over the policy.”
A search of transcripts revealed that CNN completely ignored the AP report on air Monday and Tuesday with absolutely zero coverage. A search of CNN’s website did not find any digital coverage, either.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo regularly appears on CNN for playful interview with his brother. (Darren McGee/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo via AP)
CNN did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
More than 6,400 deaths have been linked to the coronavirus in New York’s nursing home and long-term care facilities, the AP reported.
Through much of the coronavirus outbreak, there has been growing scrutiny over the Democratic governor's order in late March that forced nursing homes to accept patients who tested positive for coronavirus, despite testing deficiencies for both residents and staff. Cuomo signed an executive order on May 11 reversing the policy, stopping hospitals from sending infected patients back to nursing homes and ramping up testing for staff.
"The directive was intended to help free up hospital beds for the sickest patients as cases surged. But several relatives, patient advocates and nursing administrators who spoke to the AP at the time blamed the policy for helping to spread the virus among the state’s most fragile residents," the AP reported.
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CNN’s decision to skip the AP report came after weeks of CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time” namesake, Chris Cuomo, coming under fire for a series of widely panned interviews with his older brother.
The Cuomo siblings often joke around, poke fun at each other and have even attempted prop comedy. The CNN host recently admitted he’s "not objective" when interviewing his brother, who he called “the best politician in the country.”
Back in May, the CNN anchor sparked outrage when he attempted prop comedy instead of addressing the nursing home controversy during a 25-minute interview with his older brother.
Last month the CNN anchor conducted the 11th interview with his sibling since the coronavirus pandemic began, but it was the first time the nursing home controversy that had been dogging the New York governor even came up.
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"Nursing homes. People died there, they didn't have to, it was mismanaged and the operators have been given immunity. What do you have to say about that?" the CNN anchor asked.
"Several statements that are not correct, but that's OK. It's your show, you say whatever you want to say," Gov. Cuomo responded.
The governor then called the nursing home deaths "the most tragic situation" and pointed to how there were nursing home deaths "all across the country" and said "we have to figure out how to do it better the next time" before the next virus wave occurs.
At the end of the interview, the CNN anchor showered the governor with praise.
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“I'm wowed by what you did and more importantly, I'm wowed by how you did it," the CNN anchor told his brother. "Obviously, I love you as a brother. Obviously, I'll never be objective. Obviously, I think you're the best politician in the country.”
Back in May, the CNN anchor sparked outrage when he attempted prop comedy instead of addressing the nursing home controversy during a 25-minute interview with his older brother, who he calls the “Love Gov” on-air. The “Cuomo Prime Time” namesake played a clip of his brother taking a coronavirus test where a nurse placed a cotton swab up his nostril and joked about the size of his sibling’s nose, complete with props.
"Is it true that this was the swab that the nurse was actually using on you?" the primetime host asked his brother while holding an overly sized cotton swab. The CNN host then quickly followed by presenting him an even larger cotton swab, asking his brother if that was the one the nurse used on him.
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The Hill media reporter Joe Concha labeled the series of interviews "Keeping Up With the Cuomos" because they resembled the Kardashian family reality TV series as much as they resemble a newscast.
“Gov. Cuomo, in terms of his performance, for Chris Cuomo to say that he is wowed by it, and how he did it, shows that he shouldn’t play a TV anchor anymore, he should go work for the Cuomo campaign if and when he runs for president, and be his spokesman because that’s basically, it appears, to be his job at this point,” The Hill media reporter Joe Concha told Trace Gallagher on “America’s Newsroom” last month.
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Chris Cuomo isn’t the only CNN personality to fawn over the New York governor. Recent headlines on CNN’s website include, “Andrew Cuomo may be the single most popular politician in America right now,” “Gov. Cuomo got tested for COVID-19 at a press conference to show how easy it is” and “Andrew Cuomo is down for Robert De Niro to play him.”
CNN has been widely criticized for its favorable coverage of Gov. Cuomo and the network has downplayed the nursing home controversy for months, with passing on the AP report being the latest example.
Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.